Cuttack, Nov 14: Akhila Naik, the writer of the first Odia Dalit novel ‘Bheda’, passed away today. Naik was suffering from prolonged disease and breathed his last this morning.
He was known for his Odia novel, ‘Bheda’. Akhila Naik comes from a Dom family in the hinterlands of Kalahandi in Odisha.
Naik, who hailed from the Kalahandi district, became the first Dalit author to write a novel in Odia. In 2017, an English translation of Bheda, by Raj Kumar, a professor at Delhi University was published by Oxford University Press.
The book served as an important corrective to Odia literature, which has seen few representations of the Dalit experience.